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J.C. Penney stands behind Ellen DeGeneres as spokeswoman

February 3, 2012 |  5:45 pm

Portia and Ellen DeGeneres

As an openly gay couple, Portia and Ellen DeGeneres have faced plenty of challenges, but one worry they can safely put to bed is Ellen getting dropped by J.C. Penney.

The company has signaled that it is standing by DeGeneres as its spokeswoman, despite the group One Million Moms -- part of the American Family Assn. -- having launched a campaign to force J.C. Penney to end its association with DeGeneres and "remain neutral in the culture war."

In a statement Friday, J.C. Penney responded with support for the comedian, saying it "stands behind its partnership with Ellen DeGeneres."

GLAAD was understandably overjoyed with the news. A site the group had launched to show support for DeGeneres changed focus to show support for J.C. Penney over its decision. As of Friday afternoon, #StandUpForEllen had received more than 26,000 signatures.

"This week Americans spoke out in overwhelming support of LGBT people and J.C. Penney’s decision not to fire Ellen simply for who she happens to love," GLAAD spokesman Herndon Graddick said in a statement. "But while Ellen has the nation on her side, in 29 states today, Americans can still be legally fired just for being gay. Our elected officials should use this incident as yet another example of the support for legal protections for all hard working employees."


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-- Patrick Kevin Day

Photo: Portia de Rossi, left, and Ellen DeGeneres. Christopher Polk / Getty Images